17 Happy Indie Songs

17 Happy Indie Songs: Tracks to Boost Your Mood

17 Happy Indie Songs: Tracks to Boost Your Mood

Hey there, music lovers and fellow DJs! It’s TBone here, from Level Tunes, ready to share something that’s been resonating in my headphones and I hope will in yours too.

After 20 incredible years spinning tracks and diving deep into the endless sea of music, I’ve found that nothing beats the uplifting vibe of indie tunes.

There’s something about this genre that captures the heart and soul, bringing a smile and a bounce to your step. That’s why I’ve curated a list of 17 happy indie songs that have not only moved me but also promise to lift your spirits.

Each track has been handpicked for its unique sound, infectious energy, and the sheer joy it brings.

Whether you’re a seasoned music aficionado or just someone in search of a good vibe, these songs are a testament to my love for indie music and my journey in the music industry. So, let’s dive into this playlist and spread some happiness!

Here are the happy indie songs that you can check out:

List Of Happy Indie Songs

Happy indie songs in a list format:

Vampire Weekend – “A-Punk”

Album: Vampire Weekend
Year: 2008
Label: XL Recordings

When Vampire Weekend burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album, “A-Punk” quickly became an indie anthem. Its upbeat tempo, distinctive guitar riff, and the playful use of harmony make it impossible not to smile. The band, with Ezra Koenig’s lead vocals and Rostam Batmanglij’s eclectic production, captured the essence of youthful exuberance. What draws me to “A-Punk” is its ability to transport listeners to a carefree, sunny day, regardless of the weather outside. It’s a song that feels like a burst of energy and positivity, making it a staple in my feel-good playlist.

MGMT – “Electric Feel”

Album: Oracular Spectacular
Year: 2007
Label: Columbia

MGMT’s “Electric Feel” is an electrifying journey into psychedelic indie pop. The song’s groovy bass line, combined with its synth-driven melody, creates an atmosphere that’s both dreamy and danceable. Released as part of their debut album, “Oracular Spectacular,” it showcases Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser’s talent for crafting songs that are as thought-provoking as they are fun. I love “Electric Feel” for its ability to blend genres seamlessly, creating a sound that’s nostalgic yet forward-looking. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to dance under the stars, lost in its hypnotic rhythm.

Phoenix – “Lisztomania”

Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Year: 2009
Label: V2

French band Phoenix has a knack for creating infectious indie pop, and “Lisztomania” is a prime example. From their critically acclaimed album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” this song is a celebration of melody and rhythm. The guitar work is intricate yet accessible, and Thomas Mars’ vocals are both earnest and uplifting. “Lisztomania” speaks to the joy of music itself, a theme that resonates deeply with me. It’s a song that feels like a friend, always ready to lift your spirits and get your feet moving. The way Phoenix blends pop sensibilities with indie creativity is nothing short of inspiring.

Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

Album: Torches
Year: 2011
Label: Startime International/Columbia

“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People became the indie anthem of the early 2010s, with its catchy melody and underlying social commentary. The song’s juxtaposition of upbeat music with darker lyrical themes showcases the band’s ability to engage listeners on multiple levels. Mark Foster’s smooth vocals glide over a backdrop of groovy bass lines and rhythmic percussion, making “Pumped Up Kicks” both thought-provoking and irresistibly danceable. What draws me to this song is its complexity; it invites you to dig deeper, listen closer, and appreciate the craft behind the catchy tune.

Two Door Cinema Club – “What You Know”

Album: Tourist History
Year: 2010
Label: Kitsuné

Two Door Cinema Club’s “What You Know” is a shining example of indie rock done right. Featured on their debut album “Tourist History,” this song combines energetic guitar riffs with Alex Trimble’s distinctive vocals to create an anthem for the restless and the hopeful. The band’s ability to weave together tight melodies and upbeat rhythms makes “What You Know” a track that’s impossible to forget. It embodies the excitement of discovery and the thrill of the unknown, themes that resonate with anyone on the cusp of something new. This song is a reminder to embrace life’s adventures with an open heart and dancing shoes.

Passion Pit – “Take a Walk”

Album: Gossamer
Year: 2012
Label: Columbia

Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk” is a masterclass in blending emotive storytelling with euphoric synth-pop. Michael Angelakos’ falsetto is both haunting and uplifting, soaring over a landscape of shimmering synths and pulsating beats. “Gossamer” is an album filled with highs and lows, and “Take a Walk” captures this dynamic beautifully. It’s a song about resilience, reflection, and the journey of life, themes that hit close to home for many of us. I’m drawn to its honesty and the way it builds from a simple melody to a full-bodied anthem. It’s a musical journey that mirrors our own, filled with ups and downs but always moving forward.

The Mwombats – “Let’s Dance to Joy Division”

Album: A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation
Year: 2007
Label: 14th Floor Records

“Let’s Dance to Joy Division” by The Wombats is an irresistible blend of post-punk energy and indie pop catchiness. From their debut album, this track stands out for its ironic celebration of dancing to a band known for their somber themes. The Wombats craft a song that’s both a nod to the past and a leap into the future of indie music. The energetic guitar, dynamic drums, and Matthew Murphy’s engaging vocals make it a song that’s impossible not to move to. What I love about this track is its ability to turn melancholy into a cause for celebration, reminding us that music is a powerful tool for transformation.

Of Monsters and Men – “Little Talks”

Album: My Head Is an Animal
Year: 2011
Label: Universal

“Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men is a folk-infused indie pop gem that captures the imagination with its anthemic chorus and rich storytelling. The interplay between Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson’s vocals adds a beautiful layer of narrative depth, while the brass and accordion give it a distinctive sound. This track, from their debut album, showcases the band’s ability to weave together mythic themes with personal introspection. I chose “Little Talks” for its captivating blend of joy and melancholy, its communal spirit, and its ability to transport listeners to a whimsical, yet deeply emotional place.

Grouplove – “Tongue Tied”

Album: Never Trust a Happy Song
Year: 2011
Label: Canvasback/Atlantic

Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied” is a sonic explosion of indie pop euphoria. Featured on their debut album, it’s a song that embodies the carefree essence of youth and the bonds that define us. The track’s vibrant energy, catchy chorus, and dynamic blend of electronic and acoustic elements make it a standout anthem for letting go and embracing the moment. What draws me to “Tongue Tied” is its infectious joy and the way it captures the spirit of togetherness and freedom. It’s a song that invites you to jump around, sing at the top of your lungs, and forget your worries, if only for a moment.

Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”

Album: A Different Kind of Fix
Year: 2011
Label: Island Records

Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Shuffle” is an indie rock track that feels like a breath of fresh air. With its looping piano riff and Jack Steadman’s distinctive vocals, the song offers a unique blend of experimentation and pop sensibility. From their album “A Different Kind of Fix,” “Shuffle” stands out for its innovative structure and the way it builds momentum, creating a sense of joyful anticipation. I admire the band’s ability to experiment with sound and structure while keeping the listener grounded in a compelling melody. “Shuffle” is a testament to the joy of music and its ability to surprise and delight us.

Matt and Kim – “Daylight”

Album: Grand
Year: 2009
Label: FADER Label

“Daylight” by Matt and Kim is a pure, undiluted burst of indie pop happiness. From the opening notes, the song radiates positivity and energy, driven by Kim’s dynamic drumming and Matt’s playful piano and vocals. Featured on their album “Grand,” “Daylight” encapsulates the duo’s DIY spirit and infectious enthusiasm for life. It’s a song that makes you want to throw open your windows and let the sunshine in. What I love about “Daylight” is its simplicity and sincerity; it’s a reminder that sometimes, all you need is a catchy tune and a good beat to make the world feel a little brighter.

San Cisco – “Awkward”

Album: San Cisco
Year: 2012
Label: Island City Records

San Cisco’s “Awkward” is a delightful slice of indie pop, characterized by its witty lyrics and catchy hooks. The back-and-forth vocals between Jordi Davieson and Scarlett Stevens offer a playful take on awkward romantic encounters, set against a backdrop of jangly guitars and upbeat rhythms. From their self-titled debut album, “Awkward” showcases San Cisco’s ability to craft songs that are both relatable and irresistibly fun. I chose this song for its charming blend of humor and melody, and the way it captures the quirky, sometimes awkward essence of young love.

Foster The People – “Sit Next to Me”

Album: Sacred Hearts Club
Year: 2017
Label: Columbia

A few years after their massive hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster

The People returned with “Sit Next to Me,” a track from their album “Sacred Hearts Club” that showcases a more mature, yet equally captivating sound. This song radiates a laid-back, groovy vibe that’s all about connection and the simple desire to be close to someone. Its smooth synth lines, Mark Foster’s soothing vocals, and the catchy chorus create a warm, inviting atmosphere. “Sit Next to Me” stands out for its blend of electronic and indie elements, proving that Foster The People have a knack for evolving their sound while keeping their songs deeply human and relatable. I love this track for its feel-good vibe and the way it captures the essence of casual, effortless companionship.

Alvvays – “Archie, Marry Me”

Album: Alvvays
Year: 2014
Label: Polyvinyl

Alvvays’ “Archie, Marry Me” is a dreamy indie pop anthem that captures the spirit of youthful longing and romantic idealism. Molly Rankin’s ethereal vocals float over jangly guitars and a driving beat, creating a sound that’s both nostalgic and refreshingly modern. From their self-titled debut album, this song has become a fan favorite for its earnest lyrics and memorable melody. “Archie, Marry Me” is a standout track for its ability to blend indie pop sensibilities with a touch of surf rock, offering a unique sound that’s both introspective and uplifting. I’m drawn to this song for its heartfelt storytelling and the way it encapsulates the bittersweet nature of love and commitment.

Real Estate – “It’s Real”

Album: Days
Year: 2011
Label: Domino

Real Estate’s “It’s Real” is a masterpiece of indie rock, characterized by its shimmering guitars and laid-back vibe. The song’s gentle melody and Martin Courtney’s soothing vocals create a serene, almost dreamlike atmosphere. Featured on their album “Days,” “It’s Real” is a testament to the band’s ability to craft music that feels both intimate and expansive. This track stands out for its simplicity and emotional depth, offering a reflection on the nature of relationships and the search for authenticity. I admire “It’s Real” for its understated elegance and the way it captures the beauty of everyday moments.

Tame Impala – “The Less I Know The Better”

Album: Currents
Year: 2015
Label: Modular Recordings

Tame Impala’s “The Less I Know The Better” is a psychedelic indie pop journey that explores the complexities of unrequited love. Kevin Parker’s production genius shines through in the song’s lush soundscapes, groovy bassline, and catchy melody. From their critically acclaimed album “Currents,” this track represents a significant evolution in the band’s sound, blending elements of rock, pop, and psychedelia. “The Less I Know The Better” stands out for its emotional honesty and sonic innovation, making it a hallmark of modern indie music. I’m captivated by this song for its ability to merge introspective lyrics with an irresistible groove, creating a listening experience that’s both thought-provoking and utterly enjoyable.

The Drums – “Let’s Go Surfing”

Album: The Drums
Year: 2010
Label: Moshi Moshi/Island Records

The Drums’ “Let’s Go Surfing” is a joyous ode to the carefree days of summer, with its catchy whistling intro, upbeat rhythms, and surf-rock vibes. Jonathan Pierce’s vocals convey a sense of freedom and nostalgia, perfectly complementing the song’s sunny disposition. Featured on their self-titled debut album, “Let’s Go Surfing” captures the essence of indie pop’s lighter side, inviting listeners to escape their worries and embrace the moment. This track is a personal favorite for its infectious energy and the way it instantly lifts my spirits, embodying the quintessential summer anthem.

Belle and Sebastian – “The Party Line”

Album: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
Year: 2015
Label: Matador

Belle and Sebastian’s “The Party Line” is a departure from their typically introspective indie pop, offering up a danceable beat and synth-driven sound. From their album “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance,” this track showcases the band’s versatility and willingness to experiment with new styles. Stuart Murdoch’s distinctive vocals blend perfectly with the song’s vibrant energy, creating a track that’s both thought-provoking and fun. “The Party Line” is notable for its upbeat tempo and catchy melody, making it an instant hit on indie dance floors. I chose this song for its blend of Belle and Sebastian’s signature lyrical depth with a fresh, exciting sound that proves indie pop can make you think and dance at the same time.

Fun Facts: Happy Indie Songs

Vampire Weekend – “A-Punk”

“A-Punk” was featured in various movies and video games, solidifying its place in pop culture. Remarkably, the song’s music video was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video in 2009. This track helped Vampire Weekend gain a significant following, showcasing their unique blend of indie rock with African-inspired rhythms.

MGMT – “Electric Feel”

“Electric Feel” is not just a fan favorite but also a celebrity favorite, with Katy Perry covering the song during her live performances. The song’s psychedelic music video won the award for Best Art Direction at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, a testament to its visual appeal and the band’s creative vision.

Phoenix – “Lisztomania”

The term “Lisztomania” refers to the intense fan frenzy directed toward Hungarian composer Franz Liszt during his performances. Phoenix used this historical reference to draw a parallel to modern-day celebrity culture. The song inspired a viral video featuring a spontaneous dance session in Brooklyn, New York, which helped boost its popularity.

Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

“Pumped Up Kicks” was initially released as a free download on the band’s website, which helped the song spread virally and eventually led to the band’s major breakthrough. The song’s catchy melody contrasts sharply with its dark lyrical themes, sparking discussions on societal issues.

Two Door Cinema Club – “What You Know”

The music video for “What You Know” features the band performing amidst an array of dancers, capturing the energetic and vibrant essence of the song. This track significantly contributed to the band’s international success, becoming a staple on indie playlists worldwide.

Passion Pit – “Take a Walk”

“Take a Walk” uses a bouncing ball as a metaphor for the song’s narrative journey, which is visually represented in its innovative music video. The track is based on stories from the lead singer’s family members, adding a personal touch to its uplifting melody.

The Wombats – “Let’s Dance to Joy Division”

This song humorously celebrates dancing to music by Joy Division, known for their somber and introspective sound. The Wombats managed to create an indie anthem that’s both a nod to the past and a celebration of the present, winning the NME Award for Best Dancefloor Filler in 2008.

Of Monsters and Men – “Little Talks”

“Little Talks” was one of the first songs the band wrote together, and its call-and-response vocals between Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson became a signature element of their sound. The song’s success catapulted the Icelandic band to international fame, showcasing their folk-inspired indie pop to a global audience.

Grouplove – “Tongue Tied”

Featured in an iPod Touch commercial in 2011, “Tongue Tied” quickly climbed the charts, becoming a defining song of the early 2010s indie pop scene. The band members met at an artist residency in Crete, which adds a layer of serendipity to their collaborative success.

Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”

“Shuffle” stands out for its piano riff, which was played on an iPhone app before being incorporated into the song. This innovative approach to music-making highlights the band’s creative process and willingness to experiment with different sounds and technologies.

Diving into these 17 happy indie songs unveils a tapestry of sonic joy, each track weaving its own unique story of hope, energy, and infectious melodies. From the danceable beats of “A-Punk” to the uplifting chorus of “Little Talks,” this playlist promises to lift spirits and get feet moving. Let’s keep the good vibes rolling and the playlists glowing with these anthems of indie joy.

Thanks for reading.


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